I recently purchased Pattern Magic by Nakamichi Tomoko online at Amazon and while waiting for it to arrive I happened upon it at a local bookstore (at twice the cost) so I couldn’t resist looking through it. I have to say straight up that this book was so good I bought it there and then on the spot … so now I have two copies … it’s ok because I know who to give the other copy to.
I seriously recommend this book to anyone interested in achieving simple special effects in their garments by utilising what I can only call a cross between traditional flat pattern making and origami … easy to read, clearly illustrated and very inspiring. It’s not a stretch fit book … it’s all wovens … but to any pattern maker it’s pure gold. Buy it!
That’s the good bit … now for the bad and ugly bit ….
Something has been bugging me for a while and I can’t bring myself to keep quiet any longer. There happens to be a fellow out there professing to have invented almost every pattern technique ever known (ok that’s a slight exaggeration but give him time) … he knows who he is (don’t you Don McCunn?). When I first encountered him he claimed that by sticking bits of paper over a breast (what the actually qualified amongst us call draping) he could create a “3D pattern” … a technique he claimed to have invented. Wow … over all these centuries of draping it was apparently he who invented it! I found this the ultimate in arrogant and to me his tone was as if he were preying upon the innocent.
Later he seems to have claimed that by using more than one dart below the bust line you could get a betting fitting block/sloper … this second dart ended at the tangential corner of the front armhole … again something he seems to profess is his invented technique. Sorry to tell you Don but this is a corsetry technique going back to Georgian times. Now I know he knows he isn’t the inventor of such techniques but I’m stunned as to why he keeps claiming he is. Multiple darts are (and always have been) the bread and butter of close fit pattern makers. He does claim he did a costume history course so he should know this goes back at least a few hundred years.
More recently he’s invented a new thing called a ‘sling’ as an alternative to a bra … now you can listen to all the justifications for the benefits of this invention of his but of course what you are actually looking at is nothing more than a halter neck bikini top (he’ll justify why it’s more than that) … perhaps the fuller coverage is more reminiscent of Ms Monroe’s halters rather than a modern one, but it’s a halter nonetheless.
Then to top it all off he’s invented this marvellous new concept of putting two darts under the breast instead of just one … really … his invention again? I’m not sure how many times I’ve used multiple darts over the last 20 years but it’s quite a lot … and I sure didn’t invent it … I think I borrowed if from the 5 tucked darts from the blouses in the 40′s. Again, multiple darts are nothing new.
I’m starting to think that every time he runs short of money by selling the established existing techniques that are already freely available on the net he must look up something from history that seems remotely interesting and claim that he invented it so he can sell it to even more poor gullible victims. I find this an appalling insult to all those who’ve actually done their study, the work and who’ve given recognition to those who’ve come before them. Don you are nothing but a thief peddling the wares of others. There … I said it … prove me wrong!
Gee I hate being negative but when is this guy going to stop claiming the work of others as his own and just teach the damn stuff for what it is …. well established pattern making. Perhaps if he actually did a recognised fashion degree he might realise what came before him … yet even without qualifications he’s trying to teach others … and misleading them. Disgusting.
Rant over. If he doesn’t like it he can sue me!